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Whip and chain

The Red Cross says conditions in Guantanamo Bay are problematic, but won’t confirm a New York Times report that said the Red Cross claims prisoners were effectively tortured.

The official White House response is not exactly conclusive: “We strongly disagree with any characterization that suggests the way detainees are being treated is inconsistent with the policies the president has outlined.” Well, that’s all very well and good, but it’s not entirely clear that it is inconsistent with the Red Cross claims. The President’s policies may or may not authorize actions that are effectively torture, after all.

Go back a few weeks, and you find official US reports regarding abuse at Guantanamo which mesh fairly well with much of what the Red Cross is saying. The parties responsible for events reported therein have been disciplined. The question boils down to whether or not that discipline has been sufficient to curb the problem or not; seems like the Red Cross is saying not.

Who’s telling the truth? Well, the actions described in those reports do not violate the recommendations in the Gonzales memos.

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